Long-term behavioral effects of post-weaning social isolation in males and females

Deena M. Walker, Ashley M. Cunningham, Jill K. Gregory, Eric J. Nestler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Adolescence is a developmental period associated with vast neural and behavioral changes which are accompanied by altered sensitivity to stimuli, both stressful and rewarding. Perturbations, especially stressful stimuli, during this period have been shown to alter behavior in adulthood. Social isolation rearing is one such perturbation. This review highlights the long-term behavioral consequences of adolescent social isolation rearing in rodents with a specific focus on anxiety- and addiction-related behaviors. Sex-specific effects are discussed where data are available. We then consider changes in monoaminergic neurotransmission as one possible mechanism for the behavioral effects described. This research on both normative and perturbed adolescent development is crucial to understanding and treating the increased vulnerability to psychiatric disorders seen in humans during this life stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jan 30 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Adolescence
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dopamine
  • Isolation rearing
  • Reward
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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